Primal (2010) starring Zoe Tuckwell-Smith, Krew Boylan, Lindsay Farris, Rebekah Foord, Damien Freeleagus, Wil Traval directed by Josh Reed Movie Review

Primal (2010)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Zoe Tuckwell-Smith as Anja in Primal (2010)

Billabong Fever

Whilst it is worth noting that "Primal" is an Australian movie and makes the most of the location which sees a group of young people head to a remote area, not to party but to examine old anthropological drawings it is in truth a movie for Horror virgins. I say this because for all those slight differences, which I think are good, we are in the familiar territory of young people in the middle of nowhere having to deal with an infectious horror and battling to survive. So if you have seen the likes of "Cabin Fever" then "Primal" plays out in a predictable manner where as if you are new to horror it will probably seem quite good with graphic violence and a lot of blood.

Anja and friends Mel, Chad, Kris, Warren and Dace head in to the middle of a remote forest in search of some old cave drawings which haven't been seen for over 100 years. Whilst Anja and Dace are genuinely interested in these ancient drawings not all of the gang are especially Mel and boyfriend Chad who are there for fun. But that fun leads to trouble when after going skinny dipping in a nearby billabong Mel gets a fever which turns into a full blown infection which makes her sprout fangs, act deliriously and go primal, attacking the others. With the threat that others might become infected or die from the deranged Mel they have to make a choice over whether to kill their friend or try and trap her.

Wil Traval and Rebekah Foord in Primal (2010)

So let me tell you what is good from the point of view of someone who has watched a few horror movies. Firstly it is the fact that we have young Australians going deep into the forest to actually do something more important than just having a good time. And secondly not only do we have some wonderful landscapes but we also have Australian wildlife, yes that means we have a scene featuring a Kangaroo which is a blink and you will miss it moment if you are not careful. And to add to that whilst the predominant horror style is graphic with blood soaked fangs and bodies being bitten there are the occasional shock moments which for me are far more scary than seeing someone getting stuck into a fluffy bunny.

But then to be honest that isn't a lot and what we have remaining is a very familiar horror of friends in a remote location having to deal with one of them become deranged and dangerous. For the most you can tell what is coming from who will end up ending a victim and who will survive to the importance of Anja having claustrophobia which prevents her entering a cave, an overly elaborate back story sets this up. Oh and there is of course the climax of all this as the numbers drop and the remaining few battle to survive with an extraordinary scene taking place in the cave which left me both cringing and laughing.

One of the troubles with "Primal" and similar horrors is that despite so few characters with the exception of Anja there is no real character depth. Oh we have Mel, played by Krew Boylan, who is are fun loving one there for sex and the one who goes skinny dipping but despite her significance we don't have much interest in. Basically like other similar horrors we quickly know who is most likely going to survive and the rest are just victims included because of an idea for a death scene.

What this all boils down to is that whilst there are some nice elements to "Primal" it did end up just another horror about a group of young people isolated in the forest and in danger. For horror virgins it will probably be great but for those who are not new to the genre will feel like they have seen it all before.